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Vesuvio Cafe

Dive Bar$$$$
North Beach, San Francisco
107 Tips and reviews
  • jack kerouac
  • upstairs
  • north beach
  • cocktails
  • lively
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  • Bobby K.
    Bobby KennedyFebruary 15
    Great atmosphere, great drinks. Doesn't at all feel touristy.
  • S D.
    S DAugust 13, 2015
    A definite dive bar. I didnt see much of an art, bohemian crowd when I was there but I guess they were there in spirit.
  • Chris S.
    Chris SAugust 7, 2015
    This place is rad, and the penultimate dive bar. Protip: sit upstairs
  • Allison A.
    Allison AbbottJune 29, 2015
    Amazing and unique and hums with the beatnik vibe. Loved sitting on the second floor with the windows flung open, people watching (both tourists outside and some rowdy characters inside!)
  • Eric B.
    Eric BellApril 6, 2015
    Great antiquated vintage atmosphere, good drinks.
  • Elena B.
    Elena BaseottoMarch 24, 2015
    Drinks are nothing special, but the atmosphere is very unique. Great for reading and having a drink solo in the afternoon, before it gets busy.
  • Andrea R.
    Andrea ReynaFebruary 27, 2015
    Grab a book next door at City Lights and read (and drink) yourself silly.
  • Fai V.
    Fai VisuthichoFebruary 26, 2015
    Bring a book and some lunch and sit upstairs to people watch.
  • Joseph T.
    Joseph TinnerFebruary 3, 2015
    Joanna is awesone. Loved the Sazerac cocktail!
  • nils j.
    nils jansonNovember 16, 2014
    Really neat place to sit and watch the tourists go by. Table service is something you don't usually see at a dive. Cool decorations, like an authentic version of what TGI Fridays wants to be.
  • Michelle O.
    Michelle O'RiordanSeptember 14, 2014
    Atmosphere is always great here. Crowded yet cozy place to get away from the tourist traps of North Beach and enjoy a beer.
  • Lindsay E.
    Lindsay EyinkAugust 14, 2014
    Jack Kerouac's old hangout and right next to City Lights. In the center of the Barbary Coast and SF's. Definitely feels old school and doesn't feel touristy.
  • Andrew R.
    Andrew RauhAugust 6, 2014
    Very cool place. Came on a busy night and had bad service.
  • Josef R.
    Josef RichterFebruary 10, 2014
    Hmm not convinced. Feels a bit "cheap", drinks below average. Pilsner Urquell on tap though.
  • Daria T.
    Daria TomilovaNovember 19, 2013
    Probably the best place I've been in Frisco. And it feels sooo beat, if you know what I mean :) come here and enjoy ginger beer and dark rum in one cocktail!
  • Heather T.
    Heather TerrellNovember 18, 2013
    Drink where Kerouac drank. Teetotallers welcome too: decent selection of tea, plus espresso drinks.
  • Jessica R.
    Jessica RaeSeptember 3, 2013
    Old Beatnick hangout next to City Lights Bookstore in North Beach. Have a drink where Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Neal Cassidy used to spend their evenings.
  • Cassie P.
    Cassie PJuly 17, 2013
    You can really sense the history walking into the bar. I would recommend sitting upstairs and hang out. Cool view of the entire restaurant.
  • Yelena S.
    Yelena SzatmaryJuly 16, 2013
    Our server was very much in a harry and did not help to chose a cocktail. Look it up in advance.
  • Pamela G.
    Pamela GocobachiMay 29, 2013
    Grab a Dark&Stormy (rum&ginger beer- quite refreshing!) and grab a seat upstairs by the window for prime people watching on Columbus! Also, this place doesn't serve food but you CAN bring your own in!
  • Jennifer M.
    Jennifer MinorMay 5, 2013
    Grab a table upstairs for a nice view of the bar and the streets below and enjoy a yummy Hendrick's Gin and tonic.
  • Megan B.
    Megan BannisterMarch 20, 2013
    Grab an espresso, a classic beat read and people watch from the second floor of one of Jack Kerouac's old haunts.
  • BeersandBeans
    BeersandBeansMarch 9, 2013
    Try the Jack Keroac - The Jack Keroac special drink. Very tasty and a great vibe at this place! #bar #drinks
  • Seema M.
    Seema MaloniMarch 3, 2013
    Grab a table upstairs. Great views of busy North Beach tourist traffic and pervert men going into nudie bars.
  • Amanda S.
    Amanda ScheerbaumFebruary 28, 2013
    Great spot with an awesome beer selection. Second floor is perfect for small groups or date night!
  • kim m.
    kim milosevichFebruary 16, 2013
    Best bartenders and most interesting crowd (in a good way)
  • Rohini J.
    Rohini JalanJanuary 21, 2013
    Must do if you're in SF. Get the "Jack Kerouac" and their Anchor Steam IPA.
  • Thom B.
    Thom ButlerNovember 21, 2012
    The seat in the upstairs back corner overlooking Columbus is one of the best views in all SF
  • Jenn K.
    Jenn K.November 7, 2012
    Love this place for its cheap Happy Hour pitchers and laid-back vibe.
  • Aiden W.
    Aiden WylieAugust 14, 2012
    Nothing to do with the beats. Don't be a douche and you'll love it. Use a card for two beers and you'll rightly suffer.
  • SFGate M.
    SFGate ManagerJuly 16, 2012
    Open since 1948, it's where the Beats convened to quench their thirst. The upstairs nook might be the most perfect people-watching in North Beach.
  • SF Weekly
    SF WeeklyMay 31, 2012
    SF Weekly’s Best Of 2012 Winner – Editorial Pick – Best Place to Hang Out with Strippers without Going to a Strip Club. Vesuvio is a great spot to get a drink or three at any hour, and if the... Read more
  • ✰ David M.
    Go to the second floor, get a window seat and people watch
  • David C.
    David CraigApril 21, 2012
    Try the recession special a small glass of beer ad a shot of whiskey for cheap
  • Dan D.
    Dan DiiulioJanuary 28, 2012
    The $8 Dark & Stormy is better than most $10-$12 drinks North Beach.
  • Robin S.
    Robin SayerOctober 18, 2011
    Best bar to take visitors in San Francisco. Real atmosphere.
  • Amanda M.
    Amanda MacedoSeptember 10, 2011
    Sit in a booth upstairs. Channel your inner beatnik. Actually probably one of my favorite bars in SF.
  • AskMen
    AskMenSeptember 9, 2011
    Vesuvio is just dripping with history, and local characters can often be found holding court at the bar. Read more
  • Ed A.
    Ed AtenMay 29, 2011
    Try the Charlie sheen - shot and two beers (2.5 men) or the Tom Selleck - shot with three beers (3 men and a baby).
  • Hotel F.
    Hotel FrankMarch 7, 2011
    A MUST do in SF. So much history and no matter how many tourists pop in it still feels like our favorite local bar. Mmmmm, Anchor Steam.
  • Esquire
    EsquireFebruary 1, 2011
    Congratulations, you've found one of Esquire's Best Bars in America. No matter how many tourists drop in for a pint, it still feels as though it's full of locals. We recommend an Anchor Steam.
  • Jake P.
    Jake PfaffDecember 29, 2010
    try and grab a spot upstairs and watch the tourists hang out front.
  • Keegan Y.
    Keegan Y-VNovember 2, 2010
    Great low-key bar! Cheap and good drinks, good music, and eclectic atmosphere and ambiance
  • Tom B.
    Tom BooneOctober 2, 2010
    Jenny is a sweet bartender and knows the city well. Beautiful too.
  • Blaine G.
    Blaine GarrettSeptember 13, 2010
    Great stop on a SF visit from MPLS. Weird mix of crust punks, bohemians, and popped collar kids. If cabbing it, leave a bit before bar close or else have to compete with the strip clubs kitty corner.
  • Gopal H.
    Gopal HassinApril 29, 2010
    Best bar in SF. Perfect for your most pretentious conversations.
  • elizabeth S.
    elizabeth ScottMarch 10, 2010
    Fun two-story bar with cheap drinks and a great throwback vibe. Nice people watching spot in North Beach.
  • Bravo
    BravoJanuary 27, 2010
    Bohemian bar next to City Lights Bookstore. Good place to see some of San Francisco's finest characters. -Laurine Wickett, Top Chef
  • Matt B.
    Matt BarackmanJanuary 15, 2010
    Get the vodka sweet tea special if they have it. The cirrosis and diabetes will be worth it.
  • Tom B.
    Tom BevilacquaDecember 20, 2009
    Go to Vesuvio Cafe- order a Kerouac (though not too many, they pack a punch) and enjoy the Beat Generation ambiance.
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